I recently read in Runner’s World magazine that a PB has an expire date … of about 3 years or so. And here I thought I could still claim my PB’s from when I was in my early thirties.
But I think most runners have an urge, or a longing to reach those goals that have always been eluding you. Whether it’s a 5km, 10km, half or full marathon (or whatever distance), there will always be a little voice in the back of your head wondering if you can still go faster. Even if you’re 15 years older and much weaker. And even though it hasn’t been a conscious decision for me to try and improve on my fastest 21.1km time, I have been hoping to still one day complete a marathon in under four hours. I have never really trained for it, and with 4 hours being a very reasonable target, I’m sure it’s still do-able.
My usual modus operandi on races is to just run as I feel. I’m sure all the theories about not going out too fast, preserving some energy for the second half, doing negative splits, having a strong finish, etc, holds true, but being a very average runner in the back of the pack, all these theories just sounds too technical. Too hard work. Too much planning and concentration. I run for fun. Have I said that before?
We’ve done the Hatuma Half in 2011 and I must say, it’s a lovely event. A small town run in the country between farms of rolling green hills and happy cows. A nippy wind had me in three layers again at the start, but after just a couple of kilometres, I could shed the top layer. With the terrible weather of the day before (horizontal rain, severe wind), we were expecting the worst. Luckily the inclement weather passed and the day turned out generally great.
I again followed my “run by feel” rule, and after the first 10km I could feel my legs had already done a fast-ish half the week before. We reached 11km at 1:04 (I was told afterwards), two minutes slower that the week before at the Pelorus Trush half, but I somehow managed to maintain a fairly even pace. The Hatuma Half is undulating and run around the Hatuma Lake, with the second half including a few more hills than the first. When we reached the main road in the town, making our way back to the finish over the last approximately 4 kms, I realised Gerry was getting a bit anxious. I didn’t want to know what our time was, as I was afraid I might give up if we were too far off a sub-2hr pace. Watching him pushing the pace a bit and urging me to skip the last water point, I was almost certain that I was about to miss the two hour mark with only a couple of seconds. And low and behold – I did miss the 2 hour mark by 4 seconds! But luckily in the positive direction to finish in 1:59.56. Yay! Finally a sub-2 hour half marathon again. 🙂
This is a really nice event with wonderful spot prizes. Gerry and I were both lucky draw winners and we both chose the main sponsors Hatuma Lime’s Organic Fertilisers. No sooner was it all over, as it started to rain just as we were making our way to the car.